Just Left of Copernicus is an exhibition of new work by Irish artist Niamh McCann.
Limerick-based graduate architects Jack Byrne and Séamus Bairéad were commissioned by McCann to create a large-scale work for the Main Gallery at VISUAL Carlow. Entitled ‘Copernicus for Now’ and made of industrially produced cardboard tubes and plywood, the work draws on many references, ranging from topographical photos of the moon landscape from the 1969 moon landings, to the work of Buckminister Fuller, to the ideas of German expressionist architect and scenographer Hans Poelzig (1869-1936), best known for the design of Frankfurt’s IG Farben building and the sets for the iconic film Der Golem. What ties these together is McCann’s interest in the interchange and flow of fact and fiction, the overlapping layers of narrative, history and fable contained within the cultural and physical structures that we construct.
The temporary structure is envisioned as a space for lectures, workshops and theatrical performances. Made from industrially produced cardboard tubes and digitally fabricated plywood joints, the configuration of the plan is set out as a series of zones of different shapes and sizes. Each entrance frames the artist’s work dispersed around the gallery and set up a specific spatial relationship with each piece. Once immersed within the structure the spectator can experience the work of the artist through several different journeys.
In total some 700 tubes were manually cut and connected using 265 plywood joints to form Copernicus. All of the design and fabrication was carried out in FabLab Limerick using a CNC router and laser cutter over the period of one year. A catalogue of the exhibition with texts by Francis Mackee, Francis Halsall and Gráinne Hassett will be launched in November 2015. The exhibition will run until 3 January 2016.
This season has been kindly supported by ID2015 as part of the Year of Irish Design, and the Local Authority Arts Office. The touring exhibition of Just left of Copernicus is produced by Solstice Arts Centre, Navan and made possible through funding from the Arts Council Dissemination and Touring award. In 2016 it will travel to Limerick City Gallery and Solstice, Navan.